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CRL, AFR Release Bipartisan Poll Showing Overwhelming Public Support For Stronger Consumer Protection, Tough Regulation of Wall Street

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Michael Calhoun

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Voters overwhelmingly favor regulation of Wall Street and strongly support the work of the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a poll released today by Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

The poll, conducted by the bipartisan partners Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting last month, also revealed that more than 70 percent of likely voters believe that Wall Street holds too much influence in Washington under the Trump administration.

“The poll makes clear that consumers want transparency and accountability on Wall Street and they want the CFPB’s work to continue without interference,” said Mike Calhoun, President of CRL. “The CFPB has been a champion for working families, providing nearly $12 billion in relief to consumers who were cheated by financial companies. We need to build on CFPB’s success, not block its progress in protecting consumers from abusive financial practices.”

“The American public, across lines of party, want Congress and the administration to protect the progress made in Dodd-Frank, and do more — not less — so the financial system works to the benefit of ordinary Americans.” said Lisa Donner, executive director of AFR. “But with Wall Street and predatory lenders pumping literally billions into lobbying and campaign contributions, we are facing constant attempts to roll back the changes achieved so far.”

The 5 years of surveys conducted by AFR and CRL document that voters steadfastly back tough Wall Street reforms, and these opinions persist nearly a decade after the start of the financial crisis:

  • Seventy-eight percent of likely voters say that tough rules and enforcement are needed to prevent the kinds of practices that led to the financial crisis, with 85 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of Independents, and 67 percent of Republicans holding this view. Majorities in all parties favor more rather than less regulation of finance.
  • The mission of the CFPB, created in 2010 to shield consumers from shady industry practices, is extremely popular, with 74 percent of voters backing its work. The poll shows majority support from Democrats (85 percent), Republicans (66 percent), and Independents (77 percent). The Dodd Frank reforms writ large are supported by very similar portions of voters.
  • The public also supports key CFPB initiatives: a ban on forced arbitration, the practice of denying consumers their day in court; regulation of high-interest payday lending; and rules on debt collection.
  • Substantial majorities of all parties — 78 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Republicans — say that Wall Street exerts too much influence in Washington.

View the entire polling memo outlining the survey’s major results. (pdf) The full toplines can be found here. (pdf)

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Ricardo Quinto (CRL) at, 202-349-1688 or Carter Dougherty (AFR) at, 202-869-0397.